Tuesday, 6 May 2008

He's a very, very, very nice man

I'm not sure that I've mentioned this before, but since I got here (6 weeks tomorrow! Can you believe it?!), I've had no rubbish collection. Now, that's not as manky as it might sound. There were only six bags outside, and four and a half of them were left over packaging (bubble wrap, polystyrene, etc.) from when I moved in. So somehow I've only managed to produce a bin bag and half of actual household rubbish in six weeks... does this suggest to anyone that perhaps I'm not eating properly? (Well, maybe...) But, I digress. My point is that six week's worth of rubbish is not as horrible as it sounds - it's not like it was starting to stink or anything...

Nevertheless, even though there weren't flies buzzing around everywhere, or evil smells, I'd started to become a little concerned, and had posted on a forum I'm a member of, asking if there was someone I should speak to about it. As is the way with forums, people came back with various "helpful" comments:

"The dust car comes on a regular basis in Peyia most people put their rubbish in the green skips along the roads so dont expect door to door service not many get that have you had a word with your next door neighbors -- have a look to see if they put out their rubbish on certain days."

"We have lived in Peyia for over 2 months now & our bins are emptied twice a week, without fail. The binmen come at 4.30 in the morning."

"Throw your rubbish in the nearest Green bin as they are emptied every week in Peyia."

"Every day where we are."

"We dont have a bin wagon where we live but take the rubbish up the hill to the skip on the main road its emptied every day. It becomes second nature after a while."

"We used to have to take our rubbish to the bin across the main road. Our nieghbour went to the council office and ask for a bin to be put in our road and it arrived the next day. We have some waste ground as you come in the road so it's ok there. Now it's just a quick stroll down the road. Much easier. It seems you can also put nearly anything out and they will take it. We put an old washing line there last week....someone took it anyway."

"...hope you dont mind but we use your bin Laughing as for the line -- not guilty"


I was *extremely* tempted to reply with, "Well, aren't you the lucky ones? Doesn't solve my problem, though, does it?", but instead I responded (quite calmly, I felt, if perhaps a touch sarcastically):

"Thanks everybody for the advice.

I've seen the green skips/bins you mean, but not anywhere near where I live. I guess I could put the rubbish in the car and take it to one, but that seems a bit daft... I also haven't noticed any of my neighbours putting out rubbish, or any bags in the road, or anything - hence the original question - and I'm getting worried that I'll become known as "that crazy woman up the hill who hoards all her rubbish bags" !!

I've only been to 3 Greek lessons, and so far we've not learnt "when do the bin men come?" - so I'll check that with my teacher tonight, then maybe go and ask one of the neighbours, although I probably won't understand the reply!"


Anyway, that was my plan. But then, tonight, my landlord appeared. (I'm fairly sure it was coincidence, as I don't think he's been reading the forum posts, but you never know - I suspect it was probably more to do with the fact that my rent was due nearly a week ago!). He picked up all but one of the rubbish bags (one broke and I had to re-bag it - thankfully it was one that contained pieces of polystyrene, rather than rotting fruit pulp from the juicing extravaganza!), and sprinted off down the road, round the corner and up the hill. I followed him to see where he was going with them, and at the top of the hill was ... yep, you've guessed it, a big green bin! I'd not spotted it before, as it's an extremely steep hill and not somewhere I've ventured often - it's almost too steep for my little car to drive up there, never mind walk (or run, as he did!).

So now I know where to take the rubbish. Yay!

He also watered all the plants in my garden (which I have already been doing, but sparingly, with leftover washing up water, due to the water shortgage - I thought I was being good) as he obviously thought they weren't looking too healthy, and pulled up the weeds (I'd not been confident enough that they were actually weeds, and hadn't wanted to pull up anything that might end up being pretty...). And the whole time, he kept apologising, but I don't know the Greek for, "No need to apologise, it's my fault really."

He has invited me to "come drink coffee" tomorrow and "meet my woman" (I think that in Greek the word for both "woman" and "wife" is the same), he tells me that "her English better"
. He pointed out his house - "long with four windows" - which is on the other side of the hill, more or less opposite mine (I'll take a picture when it's not so dark!). I'm not quite sure how to get there - you can't go in a straight line, Pegeia is very hilly! - but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I'm very happy that we're able to communicate (and maybe even understand each other, sort of!) d
espite both his English and my Greek being, well, somewhat limited. There's a lot of waving and pointing involved, but it seems to work.

Talking of communicating, I'd better run, as I have a Greek lesson in half an hour...

1 comment:

Dave Lawrence said...

"even though there weren't flies buzzing around everywhere, or evil smells"

Don't think I don't know what you're hinting it, missy!

"But, I digress."

When I hear someone say that, I like to imagine they're actually saying, "tie-dyed breasts", because the first time I heard it, that's what I thought they were saying.

Do other people do this too?